The Dandelion Group
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Technique of the week

Focussed rebuttals

Verbal duels can resemble a boxing match. Watch out for the big punches, spot weaknesses and aim at the top.

Exchanging arguments is the lifeblood of our democracies. Without it, we would be ill-informed. A great debate should never be a compilation of monologues but rather a fight for truth. Whenever you lash out, though, focus on your position.

How to rebut without losing the focus

  1. State the other side’s argument.
    (e.g. You claim that curing ageing would worsen the climate crisis.)

  2. Explain why it is not correct and back it up with evidence.
    (e.g. This is wrong because a polluting energy system - not more people - causes global warming. For example, Iran emits more CO2 than Nigeria despite having just half of its population.)

  3. Link back to your position.
    (e.g. If people live longer, we can tap into the knowledge of more experts to tackle the big challenges our society faces. Hence, we should cure ageing.)

Exercise

You are an analyst at the Congolese Independent National Electoral Commission. General elections recently happened and several groups have warned of rigged results. A delay in counting the votes added fuel to the fire. The official press conference is about to start and the spokesperson asks for your help. Prepare rebuttal points for the five toughest questions, she will face from journalists and party officials.

Learn the techniques. Boost your confidence. Make your point.
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Ben Wilhelm2 Comments